TEXAS: GOP Calls On State Supreme Court To Abolish Spousal Benefits For Houston’s Gay Employees

The Austin Statesman reports:

Ratcheting up pressure on the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, Gov. Greg Abbott and other leading GOP officials Friday urged the court to revive a lawsuit that seeks to abolish employee benefits the city of Houston provides to married same-sex couples.

The case has become a rallying point for the state’s social conservatives, with the stakes growing larger now that Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton have added their voices by asking the court to adopt a limited legal interpretation of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage.

“This court should take this opportunity to remind the lower courts that all disputes involving the right to same-sex marriage have not been resolved,” Abbott, Patrick and Paxton said in a friend-of-the-court brief.

Opponents of gay marriage have also peppered the court with dozens of emails urging justices to strike down the Houston benefits or face a voter backlash in future Republican primaries. Abbott and other opponents of gay marriage, however, face a difficult challenge.

The Texas Supreme Court has already rejected the Houston case in an 8-1 ruling, letting stand a lower-court decision that upheld the benefits. Gay-marriage opponents have asked the court to reconsider, but such requests are rarely granted.

(Tipped by JMG reader BK)